1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Definition of Drop Sets


Updated June 09, 2014


Drop sets are weight training sets in which the weight is decreased in each subsequent set in a group of sets.

A set is a group of repetitions of a single exercise. A repetition is one instance of an exercise.

The first set should be with a weight that induces "failure" at the final repetition so that you cannot do one more repetition.

In drop sets you can vary the format by:

  • decreasing the weight and increasing the number of repetitions in the subsequent set
  • decreasing the weight and keeping the number of repetitions the same
  • varying rest time between sets (or having none at all)
  • by reducing the weight a little or a lot.

You can check out more weight training fundamentals in the weight training guide.

Also Known As:

Drop sets are sometimes called "reverse pyramid" sets because you start with a heavy weight and progessively reduce it.


The workout program called for 3 drop sets starting at 6 repetitions to failure, with a weight reduction of 15% for each subsequent set and progression to failure, and no rest between sets.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.